Summer Reading

I love to read almost as much as I love to travel. Ever since I was a child, summer and reading have gone together.  I spent countless days poolside or on the beach devouring the latest bestsellers and savoring classics, including one rainy day when I read Gone With The Wind from cover to cover, barely stopping to eat.  I read all year round, but in the summer I like lighter "fluffier" books, that transport me to destinations I have never been, time periods I wish I had experienced or, even better, remind me of the places I love.
Here are a few new releases on my "to read this summer" list that look promising to satisfy a bit of my wanderlust without ever having to leave home:
 The below review pretty much says it all...her first book was a treat to read and I can't wait to read this one!
 Filled with enticing recipes for stuffed zucchini flowers, fig tart and honey & thyme ice cream, Picnic in Provence is the story of everything that happens after the happily ever after: an American learning the tricks of French motherhood, a family finding a new professional passion, and a cook's initiation into classic Provencal cuisine. -GoodReads

At The Water's Edge, by Sarah Gruen
I love this author - add in a search for the Loch Ness monster and I am sold! 
 In her stunning new novel, Gruen returns to the kind of storytelling she excelled at in Water for Elephants: a historical timeframe in an unusual setting with a moving love story. Think Scottish Downton Abbey. - GoodReads

The Rocks, by Peter Nichols
I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this one has me intrigued along with the setting in Mallorca. It received mixed reviews - I will keep you posted.
Set against dramatic Mediterranean Sea views and lush olive groves, The Rocks is a double love story that begins with a mystery, then moves backward in time, era by era, to unravel what really happened decades earlier. - Amazon
My Paris Dream, by Kate Betts:

Pretty much anything with Paris in the title will end up on my reading list...
  Kate Betts’s captivating memoir brings to life the enchantment of France—from the nightclubs of 1980s Paris, to the lavender fields of Provence and the grand spectacle of the Cour Carrée—and magically re-creates that moment in life when a young woman discovers who she’s meant to be. - GoodReads

Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave

I fell in love with the California wine country on my trip earlier this year, so this book seems like a perfect way to re-visit my trip.

Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect. - Amazon

The Fifth Gospel, by Ian Caldwell
 The "Rule of Four" is one of my all time favorite books - I have been waiting for over 10 years for the author to write another book AND this one is set in the Vatican...will I get any work done this summer?

Caldwell knows his Vatican, and in his detailed descriptions of hidden gardens, underground car parks, piazzas, dark lanes, tunnels and corridors, conjures up a strange and alien realm where hierarchy is all, secrets fester and multiply, deals are spun behind closed doors, and a murderer may be on the loose. . . . This superb Rubik’s Cube of a novel is the best of its kind, right up until the final shock and the pope’s dying wish - Providence Journal

The Rumor, by Elin Hilderbrand 
(June 16th release date)

I eagerly anticipate Elin Hilderbrand's new releases and when I start one of her books, I cannot put it down. Consider me unavailable until it is finished. Her books are light and somewhat formulaic but they never fail to transport me to Nantucket, one of my favorite places.
Everything about Elin Hilderbrand's latest novel whispers "delicious summer read". - CNN

 Circling The Sun, by Paula McLain
(July 28th release date)

I loved Paula McLain's "The Paris Wife" and am fascinated with the story of Karen Blixen, so I will look forward to this book's release the end of July.
Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa. - Amazon

Villa America, by Liza Klaussmann
(August 4th release date)
The French Riviera + Fitzgerald = Perfection...I can't wait for this one!
A dazzling novel set in the French Riviera based on the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is The Night. Liza Klaussman expertly evokes the 1920s cultural scene of the so-called "Lost Generation." Ravishing and affecting, and written with infinite tenderness, VILLA AMERICA is at once the poignant story of a marriage and of a golden age that could not last. - Amazon
Please note - I have not read any of these books YET so please don't consider this post an endorsement. I promise to let you know what I think as I read them.
My favorites of LAST summer that I highly recommend were:
And, for my favorite "travel" books of all time, check out this post from way back in the summer of 2012! 
Happy me if you want to hop on a plane after diving into one of these books!